The Transylvania Times -

Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas To Speak At St. Philip's - Brevard, NC


March 8, 2018

Courtesy photo

The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas

The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, an internationally acclaimed womanist theologian, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York, will speak at St. Philip's Episcopal Church at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18.

Her speech, entitled "Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God," is sponsored by the Transylvania NAACP and St. Philip's.

Earlier in the day, following the 9 a.m. service at St. Philip's, Dean Douglas and feminist theologian, Rev. Dr. Carter Heyward of Brevard, will dialogue with each other and members of the congregation on the question, "What do womanism and feminism offer the church?"

A leading voice in the development of a womanist theology, Essence magazine counts Douglas "among this country's most distinguished religious thinkers, teachers, ministers and counselors."

In addition to her appointment as dean at Union, Brown is also a professor of theology at Union and she serves as the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cath-edral.

Douglas is widely published in national and international journals and other publications. Her groundbreaking and widely taught book "Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective" (1999) was the first to address the issue of homophobia within the black church community. Her latest book, "Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God" (2015), examines the challenges of a "Stand Your Ground" culture for the black church. Douglas' other books include "The Black Christ" (1994), "What's Faith Got to Do with It?: Black Bodies/Christian Souls" (2005) and "Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant" (2012), which seeks to move the black church beyond its oppressive views toward LGBTQ bodies and sexuality in general.

In addition, Douglas is the co-editor of "Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection" (2010). She has been a pioneering and highly sought-after voice in regard to addressing sexual issues in relation to the black religious community. She has been very active in advocating equal rights for LGBTQ persons.

Douglas is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Denison University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science summa cum laude in psychology. She went on to earn a Master of Divinity and a doctoral degree in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary under James Cone, Ph.D., the premier black theologian. While at Union, she received The Hudnut Award for demonstrated preaching excellence and the Julius Hanson Award as the outstanding theological student.

Prior to Union, Doug-las served as professor of religion at Goucher College where she held the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion and is now professor emeritus. Before Goucher, she was associate professor of theology at Howard University School of Divinity (1987-2001) and assistant professor of religion at Edward Waters College (1986-1987).

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Douglas was ordained at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in 1985 - the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest in the Southern Ohio Diocese, and one of only five nationwide at the time. She also was the first to receive the Anna Julia Cooper Award by the Union of Black Episcopalians (July 2012) for "her literary boldness and leadership in the development of a womanist theology and discussing the complexities of Christian faith in African-American contexts."

Dean Douglas was an associate priest at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. for over 20 years.

She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, The Society for the Study of Black Religion, The Ecumenical Association for Third World Theologians and on The Board of Scholars for Ms. Magazine.


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